Mental Health/Relationships/Life

Are You Afraid to Love for Fear of Loss?

Make the most of the life you now live

Loren A Olson MD
Invisible Illness
Published in
5 min readNov 20, 2020
Photography33/Deposit Photo/197641034/licensed to author

I never expected to live as long as I have.

When a person reaches midlife, he or she begins to think, more days lie behind me than days left in front of me. I began to have those thoughts as a child.

My mind always defaulted to loss.

My father died when I was three, and one grandfather shot himself when I was six. My other grandfather had debilitating Parkinson’s Disease, so, I never really knew him. An automobile accident paralyzed my brother when I was nine.

Being a man looked to be high risk. Women, on the other hand, appeared to be indestructible.

I thought I would die when I was thirteen years old because thirteen is an unlucky number. I registered for the draft when I turned eighteen, and I began to think, So, this is how I am going to die.

In 1975, I was 32 years old, and I had a three-year-old daughter. My father was killed in a farm accident when he was 32 and I was three. Is this a coincidence or a harbinger of things to come?

Don’t love too much

In 1987, on my forty-fourth birthday, I met Doug who later became my husband. He was twenty-nine. It seemed like quite an age-gap at the time.

I said to Doug, “There’s fifteen years difference in our ages. Do you think we can make this work?”

He responded, “I’ve always liked older men.” We rarely discussed it again.

Family and friends were supportive of our relationship. Although we heard occasional and predictable comments about Doug marrying a rich doctor or me grabbing a young trophy, the age discrepancy left my mind. Mostly.

Although there was a significant disparity in our ages, we liked doing the same things. We were emotionally and sexually compatible. Physically we were a match. The only thing that did not seem to match was the number that represented our ages.

Many of us who come out later in life have deep attachments to their children. Of all the people we might injure by coming out, men and women worry most…



Loren A Olson MD
Invisible Illness

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.